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In the crosshairs of conscience: John Kitzhaber's death penalty reckoning

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To cope with his dread, John Kitzhaber opened his leather-bound journal and began to write.
It was a little past 9 on the morning of Nov. 22, 2011. Gary Haugen had dropped his appeals. A Marion County judge had signed the murderer's death warrant, leaving Kitzhaber, a former emergency room doctor, to decide Haugen's fate. The 49-year-old would soon die by lethal injection if the governor didn't intervene.
Kitzhaber was exhausted, having been unable to sleep the night before, but he needed to call the families of Haugen's victims.
"I know my decision will delay the closure they need and deserve," he wrote.
The son of University of Oregon English professors, Kitzhaber began writing each day in his journal in the early 1970s. The practice helped him organize his thoughts and, on that particular morning, gather his courage.
Kitzhaber first dialed the widow of David Polin, an inmate Haugen beat and stabbed to death in 2003 while already serving a life sentence fo…

ISIS extremists publicly behead Iraqi teenager for ‘listening to western music’

Public beheading of a young man by IS extremist (file photo)
Public beheading of a young man by IS extremist (file photo)
A teenage boy has been beheaded by ISIS for simply listening to Western music.

Ayham Hussein, 15, was arrested by militants after allegedly being caught enjoying pop tunes on a portable CD player in the group's Iraqi capital Mosul.

He was dragged before a Islamist kangaroo court which sentenced him death in a public execution.

A spokesman for the Nineveh media centre told ARA News: "Ayham Hussein was captured by the jihadis while listening to Pop music at the grocery store of his father in the Nabi Younis marketplace in western Mosul. He was referred to the Sharia Court, which issued a decision to execute him.”

“ISIS jihadis publicly beheaded the boy,” the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The victim’s body was reportedly handed over to his family on Tuesday evening. The incident has raised public outrage among Mosul’s residents.

“There was no formal decision by the Sharia Court that ban listening to western music,” the source said, adding this was the first case of its kind to be documented in Mosul.

His body was reportedly handed over to his family on Tuesday.

ISIS has imposed its own sickening brand of medieval justice across swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria, executing prisoners for so-called 'crimes' such as blasphemy and being homosexual.

In a statement two years ago, the terror group also banned 'music and songs in cars, at parties, in shops and in public, as well as photographs of people in shop windows.'

It added: 'Songs and music are forbidden in Islam as they prevent one from the remembrance of God and the Koran and are a temptation and corruption of the heart.'

Source: Mail Online, ARA news, Feb. 17-18, 2016

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In the crosshairs of conscience: John Kitzhaber's death penalty reckoning